Health bosses in north Shropshire are urging anyone who still hasn’t a flu vaccine to take it up before the winter is over.

The call comes from Shropshire Clinical Commissioning Group because of the increase in flu cases across the country in the last month.

Dr Julian Povey, Chair of Shropshire Clinical Commissioning Group, says those groups at risk from flu top get vaccinated immediately.

He said: “I would urge people in at risk groups in Shropshire to protect themselves with the flu vaccination without delay.

“The symptoms of flu include fever, chills, aching muscles, headache, stuffy nose, dry cough and sore throat.

“The vaccination is free for people aged 65 and over, children aged two-three, pregnant women, carers (paid or unpaid) and those with long term health conditions.

“Patients in these at risk categories are able to get the vaccination free of charge from their GP and at some pharmacies.”

Those eligible for a free flu vaccine include older people aged 65 and over; children aged two and three years; children in reception class and school years 1-4 (ie born between September 1 2008 and August 31, 2013); people with long term conditions – such as like COPD; bronchitis, emphysema; diabetes; heart, kidney or liver disease or have suffered a stroke; pregnant women; carers – whether caring in an unpaid or paid role.

Those who work with vulnerable people, whether you work in a social care and health setting or another organisation, are strongly encouraged to take up their flu vaccination.

Dr Irfan Ghani, Shropshire Council’s public health consultant, added: “As anticipated at this time of year, we are seeing more people being admitted to hospitals with the flu as well as an increase in people visiting GPs with flu symptoms.

“It is really important for those who are eligible for a free flu vaccination to take up this offer.

“The vaccine is the best defence we have against the spread of flu, and it isn’t too late to get vaccinated.”

More information about flu and how to stay well this winter can be found on the council’s stay safe and well website at